HC Deb 24 November 1960 vol 630 cc1294-5
22. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he proposes to improve recruitment to the housemaster service in approved schools by offering salaries commensurate with their reponsibilities and better opportunities for promotion.

Mr. Vosper

The scale of remuneration for housemasters in approved schools is a matter for the Standing Joint Advisory Committee for Staffs of Children's Homes, a negotiating body on which employers and employees are represented and whose awards are recognised for grant purposes by the Home Office. The Committee has recently agreed an improved scale for housemasters with effect from 1st September, 1960.

Mr. Boyden

In view of the fact that housemasters and housemistresses have just as close contact with approved school inmates as the qualified teachers, would it not be a sound idea if they were ultimately assimilated on to the Burnham scale, if a member of the Home Office attended the negotiating committees to give advice, and they were given adequate promotion opportunities with qualified teachers and opportunities to qualify as well?

Mr. Vosper

This is not an easy matter. Some progress has been made as a result of the negotiations. We had better await the results and see whether we can make any further progress thereafter.

Miss Bacon

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is not only the salaries which prevent proper recruitment of housemasters to approved schools, but also the fact that there are no promotion prospects for them, particularly if they happen to be in a local committee school which is not connected with any other approved school in the area?

Mr. Vosper

I do not know that what the hon. Lady said in the last part of the supplementary question necessarily follows. It is true that promotion enters into this question. In fact, there are housemasters who have become either headmasters or deputy headmasters of approved schools. However, I certainly hope that this matter can be fully investigated.